Newly Approved Denver Marijuana Bus Adds Weed to Weddings, Big City Events | Westword

Newly Approved Canna Cabanabus Adds Weed to Weddings, Public Events

The mobile lounge will be posted outside public events and is available for private bookings in Denver.
The Canna Cabanabus is currently available for bookings by private wedding parties.
The Canna Cabanabus is currently available for bookings by private wedding parties. Danielle Lirette
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It's a nice day for a weed wedding in Denver.

Today, July 20, Canna Cabanabus became the third mobile marijuana hospitality service to receive a permit from the City of Denver. Owner Alisha Gallegos plans to park the bus outside of large public events, sports attractions and concerts to provide a public place to smoke weed, but that will be a side hustle. Her main market is matrimony.

"I'll be doing public and private events — public meaning I'll be around all of the major venues. I'll also do birthdays and corporate events," she explains. "But my focus is definitely weddings."

In fact, Gallegos is ready to start booking weddings now. The plan is to park at the venue; guests who bring their own product will simply show their IDs and climb aboard, where they can consume it behind closed doors and windows. In Denver, the bus will have to move every half hour, and the route must be submitted a week ahead to the city, she says. However, approval isn't hard to come by if the route remains within city limits.

A former public educator, Gallegos joined the cannabis industry after discovering the lack of licensed places for people to consume pot, she says, and quickly developed a passion to increase minority representation in legal marijuana. She first wanted to open a marijuana-friendly venue, but pivoted to a mobile lounge because the barriers to entering the business were lower.
click to enlarge The Canna Cabanabus mobile marijuana lounge
The Canna Cabanabus mobile marijuana lounge.
Canna Cabanabus

"I loved to teach, but they just aren't paid very much," she notes. "As a Hispanic female, it's important to create equity in this business."

While the Colorado Legislature passed a law creating hospitality licenses in 2019, local governments must opt in before such businesses are allowed in a municipality. Although Denver has been one of the few to do so, pot-friendly establishments have struggled to get off the ground in the Mile High. Since Denver City Council opted into the state's hospitality program in 2021, the city has seen just one open and licensed pot lounge in town — and that establishment, the Coffee Joint, only allows electronic vaping and edibles consumption.

The city has given tentative approval to a handful of other establishments that want to allow cannabis smoking, including a Capitol Hill hotel and lounges in RiNo and on East Colfax. Local ventilation and building plan rules have proved difficult to overcome, though, and none of those are open yet.

Mobile lounges have been able to get moving faster, with two tour companies currently offering cannabis-friendly trips to the airport, taco joints and art hot spots around Denver, as well as privately booked routes and requests. Canna Cabanabus would be the first mobile lounge to specifically cater to weddings and regularly patrol public events, however.

The magenta and purple party bus is equipped with a vending machine that sells non-infused munchies and drinks, according to Gallegos. It will make its public debut on August 4 at the next First Friday Art Walk in the Art District on Santa Fe, and then at the Taste of Colorado at Civic Center Park during the August 6 ¡Viva! Streets event; meanwhile, those interested in private bookings of the Canna Cabanabus can go online.
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